3 kinds of lists for your bullet journal

Do you know what I’m really excited about these days? It’s how bullet journalling has made it cool and trendy to write things down 🙂

When you write things down, it frees your mind for more big picture thinking and you don’t have to worry too much about the details because they’re written down so they’re not disappearing anywhere.

Here are 3 types of lists you could use to help manage your time effectively. You can make the lists in your bullet journal or download them from my website.

Master to-do list

1. Master list
This is a place for a “brain dump”, a place for ideas you might want to pursue in the future or possible projects you need to tackle.

You can work off one master list for months, like I do with my business or blogging ideas.

I also have a master list of things to do in the house. I write up a new list every year and I work on that list the entire year.

To-do list

2. To-do list
This list can be monthly, weekly or daily. I post a weekend to-do list to Instagram every weekend.

The difference between this list and the master list is that this one has a time deadline attached to it.

I have a monthly to-do list, which is really my monthly goals list. I keep this one with broad goals like go to the gym 8 – 12 times, a weekly to-do list with about 3-5 business tasks to get done and then my daily to-do list which spreads out those 5 tasks so that I have only 1 or so to do daily.

Sometimes 1 task is very big and takes a couple of days so I’ll leave a couple of smaller ones to do all on one day.

I want to caution you to only put a maximum of 6 items on your daily to-do list so you don’t become overwhelmed!

My checklist to live my best life

3. Checklist
This is a place with a list of items which you check/ tick off.

This list is ideal for anything you need to do regularly, like the order in which you do your photo backups, a list of weekly business tasks, travel checklist, shopping list, etc.

My favourite checklist used to be my “newsletter” checklist which walked me through a process of ensuring I repurposed every bit of the content I create. These days, the one above is my favourite checklist 🙂

Once you start using the correct list for the task at hand, you’ll be flying!

You can download a variety of lists in the free pack on my website.

Do you prefer to print out your lists or to write them into your bullet journal?

5 reasons why you must have a master to-do list

There’s something so powerful about a central place to store all of your ideas, thoughts and to-do items.

You don’t feel distracted and scattered because everything is in one place.

Whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, I make a master to-do list of everything I need AND want to do.

My current list contains things I have to sent out in the mail, business projects I want to work on, and documents I need to update, like some e-books and coaching tools.

So why a master to-do list?

What’s wrong with the back of an envelope and millions of post-it notes?

1. Writing it all down frees up your brain for big picture thinking so you don’t have to concern yourself with remembering details.

2. It eliminates all the bits and pieces of paper, post-it notes, backs of envelopes, etc.

3. There is something about the act of actually putting pen to paper that seals things in your mind. If you’ve ever been on one of my goal-setting workshops, you know exactly what I mean.

4. Once you see it in black and white, you can deal with reality so much better rather than imagining how bad it all is.

5. You can choose the exact number of tasks you want to tackle every day (I don’t recommend more than 6) without feeling overwhelmed. Move these 6 tasks to your daily to-do list.

My challenge to you

* Download my paper-based master to-do list from my website or use Outlook if you like the electronic version. The method doesn’t matter much; what does matter is that you have a central place to collect your tasks.

* First brain dump everything – go wild, you can sort it out later.

* Now, make categories and then start attacking that list.

Happy organising!

 

Over to you – do you use master to-do lists?

 

Marcia Francois is a time management coach and speaker who inspires busy women to break out of overwhelm, make the most of their time and take purposeful and focussed action so they have the time and freedom to live life to the full.

Visit  http://purposefultimemanagement.com  for your free Time Management Purpose Pack.

3 myths about lists :)

There are two types of people in this world – those who like lists and those who don’t.

This post is for those who don’t like lists 🙂

lists are boring

A list is only as boring as your imagination! You can and should put some fun things on there too as well as tasks to do.

I recently started putting things like “finish James Patterson book” on my weekend lists because all I was doing was chores. I loved the change so much that I now regularly put fun things like “phone _____ for a lovely, long chat” and “paint fingernails” on my lists just to jazz them up 😉

lists are a bind because they have tons of items on them

Well, that depends on the type of list. A master list and a checklist often do have tons of things on them but a daily to-do list really should have no more than about 6 items.

I’ve shared before how when I only have 6 items on my to-do list, I get through them all easily but when I try to be SuperWoman and add lots more, I get even less than 6 done! I showed a coaching client my diary once and she was amazed.

When you find the right list, your life will change

No, no, no! The list is only the tool.

I used to subscribe to tons of productivity sites and really, many of them were all about the perfect tool. A tool is exactly that – something to help you get something else done.

Many people are so intent on creating the perfect list or finding the perfect planner that they get into an analysis paralysis mentality.

Because when you’re obsessing about the perfect to-do list, you stop actually doing the things on the list, right?

The truth is it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you get it down somewhere – whether on a post-it note, in a gorgeous notebook or in your phone.

So how am I doing with my lists?

I still use a weekly list and take off up to 6 items (sometimes a lot less) to do in a day.

My new  favourite thing is doing a mind-map list for my weekly planning. I do a spoke for each area of my life – husband, babies, house, work, business, health and fitness, etc. And then, off each spoke, I make new mini-branches with things I have to do.

Do you have any other beliefs about list-making?

Do you make lists? What works well for you?

P.S. There are some lovely lists (standard ones and mind maps) waiting for you in the free Organising Success Pack

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